According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 729,600 job openings for electricians each year. These jobs are spread throughout a variety of industries and include some paths that may even be unexpected. Many people think of electricians and mistakenly assume that every job is the same, but in reality, an electrician’s skill set can open the door to wildly diverse opportunities. This prompts the question — what can being an electrician lead to? Every modern industry relies on electricity to operate, so possibilities for work are practically everywhere. Learn about some of the most exciting industries an aspiring electrician can start a career in as well as unique jobs you can pursue.
Industries Electricians Can Work In
If you imagine working as an electrician and only envision days spend installing wiring in walls, you’ll be pleased to learn that are, in fact, many other kinds of work you can pursue — including jobs in the following enticing industries. While standard residential and commercial work can be a fulfilling career path, it’s only the tip of the electrician job opportunity iceberg.
Airplanes are a feat of electrical accomplishment. Since the Wright brothers first achieved flight in 1903, companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin have emerged as some of the top employers of electricians in the aviation industry. Indeed, because of the breadth of work that’s available, aviation is one of the top industries in which electricians can establish a career. Some of the top job titles in the field include Aviation Electrician, Electrical Engineer, or Aircraft Electrician. These positions often share overlapping responsibilities such as the following:
- Installing electrical systems in aircraft
- Repairing problems with electrical systems
- Maintaining electrical wiring and equipment
- Regularly testing electrical systems
If you’ve always been enamored by the miracle of flight, this could be a fantastic field to explore as a beginning electrician. Many advanced jobs in the industry as reserved for professionals with several years of experience, but as an aspiring professional in the field, you can still search for entry-level electrical work in aviation.
Aviation isn’t the only transportation mode that offers opportunities to electricians. What can being an electrician lead to in other transportation industries? Ground transportation is a promising path with an incredible assortment of jobs. Think about the possible careers you could explore in sectors such as the following:
- Public transportation
- Vehicle manufacturing
- Light and heavy rail engineering
Many municipalities employ electricians in positions such as Transportation System Technician, for example. This job typically requires several years of experience as well as prior experience in a public works environment. If you meet these requirements, though, the job allows electricians to work on projects such as electrical wiring for highway systems and signage. If you’re drawn to the idea of working in an industrial setting, a job at a vehicle manufacturing plant would be a good bet. These positions can be grueling, but many electricians enjoy the challenge of installing electrical systems in new vehicles.
New construction is yet another opportunity for an aspiring electrician to consider. This could include the construction of new homes and residential properties or commercial construction projects. It should be noted that the requirements and skill levels may differ between the two. Residential construction often entails standard, straightforward electrical work that can be completed by a single professional. The electrical work that’s required for commercial construction, on the other hand, is often far more complex and may require a team to complete. This is because commercial structures are likely to be bigger, and they may also include specialized equipment that requires expert installation.
Specific Positions for Electricians
In addition to the aforementioned industries that often employ electricians, there are many specific positions that are often available to electrical professionals. These jobs are commonly available in a wide variety of industries thanks to the fact that electricity is always in demand! The following three positions are a few of the opportunities you can pursue once you obtain your electrician’s license — if you live in a state where it is required.
An electrical engineer is one of the most common positions for mid-level and advanced electricians. Rather than simply installing wiring as an entry-level electrician would, this job involves designing the wiring systems themselves. Throughout the design process, an electrical engineer will develop its components and test them thoroughly to ensure that the system functions as it is intended to. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this position earns a median salary of $101,780 annually or $48.93 hourly.
Nuclear power plants are a controversial source of energy, but they’re often one of the biggest employers of electricians in the areas they serve. Electricians who work in this environment may be responsible for tasks such as:
- Operating reactor
- Managing power systems
- Installing generator equipment
In many cases, working as a nuclear electrician requires additional training. Aspiring electricians who have an intersecting interest in science and energy may find that this is a fulfilling career path, though.
An Electrical Foreman — also sometimes referred to as an Electrical Supervisor — is responsible for overseeing the work of other electricians on a job site. An electrician in this job might supervise entry-level construction electricians, for example, or ensure that power linemen complete their jobs safely. They may also offer hands-on electrical services by installing and repairing electrical systems with help from a dedicated team. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t offer specific statistics for a foreman position, but it does indicate that electricians in general earn a median annual wage of $60,040. This figure is likely even higher for electricians that occupy a supervisory role.
What Can Being an Electrician Lead To?
What can being an electrician lead to? Now you know that there are many different paths you can take when you’re pursuing a career as an electrician. It’s one of the most exciting jobs available, and regardless of where you start, you will be able to transfer your skills to nearly any industry. In order to jumpstart your career, you should research the education and licensure that are required in your state. Find out what you need to do to become an electrician and start earning money.